To revive millets as 'Nutri-Cereals' in the state, The Odisha Millets Mission (OMM), a flagship initiative of the state government of Odisha, has supported women self-help groups (WSHGs) to set up 76 millet tiffin centres at various community locations in 13 tribal-dominated districts. These millet-based enterprises can become a comprehensive solution in addressing malnutrition, unemployment and in motivating farmers to increase their millet cultivation area, which was once reduced due to aggressive promotion of cash crops, claim civil society organisations facilitating the implementation of OMM at the grassroots.Millet tiffin centres were launched in rural areas to create a demand for millet recipes and ensure access to diet diversity that is locally acceptable and highly nutritious. The WSHGs entirely manage these centres. They prepare a range of millet-based hot cooked items and ready to cook products.'Initially, we had no idea how people would react to our tiffin centre. However, today, we are happy. The demand for our food (millet recipes) is growing. Last month we earned around ₹25,000 as net profit,' said Dasmati Sunani, President, Dakua WSHG in Sundargarhs Rajgangpur block. Phulbasa Barla, Dakua WSHG member, recalled that initially their tiffin centres faced some resistance from locals. 'For years, it has been unheard of for women from our village to be involved in businesses. However, gradually, things are changing. Today, we are more organised as a group, and people respect us and love our food.'The Growing Network In Sundargarh, six millet tiffin centres were established between December 2021 and January 2022. An additional 21 such centres have been approved. To set up these tiffin centres, the OMM has sponsored ₹30,000 for each WSHG. Ma Mission Shakti Women Federation manages the Millet Shakti Cafe in Keonjhar district, which offers different food items made from millets such as biscuits, mixture, khurma, rose cake, ladoo and eight grain varieties, including ragi flour, sorghum flour, little and barnyard millets. The caf also provides tea, coffee and snacks to attract customers. 'We earn around ₹50,000 as profit per month,' said Suprabha Mahanto, a federation member. As the demand for millet food recipes has been growing in the district, around 200-300 customers regularly visit this caf per day. To expand our customer base, we are also providing home delivery services,' added Mahanto. In the state capital Bhubaneswar, a similar initiative has been taken up by Shaktimayee Ward Women Federation members. They have established a Millet Outlet in Kurshi Bhawan a range of packaged millet food items is available such as ragi and sorghum flour, ragi cookies, ragi ladoos, ragi mixture, khurma and mudki. The federation earns around ₹3000-4000 per day from selling various millet products.OMM has prioritised creating awareness about production, productivity, consumption and marketing of millet produce and including millets in the state nutrition programme. Awareness-building activities were organised, such as food festivals, cooking competitions, and celebrating local millet food cultures. Participatory training programmes were also conducted for WSHGs on millet recipes and millet enterprises.The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets. In India, the recent announcement during the 2022-23 Union Budget of supporting post-harvest value addition, enhancing consumption and branding millets further heightens the crucial role OMM could play in reinforcing the supply chain and promoting millets from farm to plate.